Poison Bulbs, Extraterrestrial Wrecks and Grinding Slabs, Koingnaas, Northern Cape

Written by Jacques Marais
Home > Blog > Poison Bulbs, Extraterrestrial Wrecks and Grinding Slabs, Koingnaas, Northern Cape

Gobsmacked. If I had to choose a word to explain my reaction to four days of untouched #noordkaap vibes, that one does not even come close. In so many ways, the section of the Northern Cape Tourism Region’s #diamondcoast immediately south of #PortNolloth epitomises everything that is unimaginable about #localtravel in #southafrica. Minimalist and arid plains brimming with miniature botanical marvels; a seafaring history rich in lore and legend; epic dust storms reminiscent of Hollywood blockbusters; and rearing ocean slabs jacking chaoticallly onto shallow reefs. It is exhilarating and intoxicating and super chilled and scary as hell, all at the same time.

Let’s start with the rare ‘boophane distichia’, or poison bulb, and the fact that syndicates seem to be targeting this amazing medicinal wonder plant, digging it up along less-traveled back roads. This is not only about one species, but rather dozens, which are being poached and exported – often to China – in order to be a conversation point in some rich assholes’ residence. Oom Dudley Bruce Wessels showed us where hundreds of these bulbs have been dug up, and very little is being done about this.

He also took us on an exhilarating and informative #shipwreck tour, covering the treacherous coastal section stretching from #Kleinzee to #koingnaas, where dozens of vessels have run ashore over the past few centuries. Some of these shipwrecks are like sets from a #MadMax movie, and we spent hours one night lighting it up and playing with #astrophotography. Stay tuned for a lekker project with Andre Hugo Media 👌

Top of the list are the gnarly surf breaks, where burly deep-water slabs charge unchecked onto shallow reefs, ready to rip you apart if you get caught on the inside. I paddled out with water-man Peter Van Kets and followed his lines, taking my punishment like a man (and whimpering when no-one was close by). Some huge wipe-outs, some breathless moments in the impact zone, and some ripper waves as reward. Blessed beyond belief to face the elements in this desolate and beautiful space 🙏 

I’m overwhelmed by what we have experienced so far on our Beyond Expeditions road trip with Isuzu South Africa and supported by Dunlop Tyres SA. So far, we have but scratched the surface of what is on offer here in the Northern Cape. So, if ever you wanted a place to #PlayLocal and #StayLocal, this is one hundred per cent it. Go north, go bedonnerd and, whatever you do, go local … there are thousands of stories and destinations just waiting to be discovered!

 

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